Hello! This is a future fanfiction taking place about 20 years after the group defeats the Neverseen, whenever that may happen. There’s Sokeefe (as well as a couple of other ships), but the story is not solely focused on them. We’ll try to have chapters out every week, but some might take longer. Hope you enjoy!
-DressChimera241 and Luna
Sophie stared at the photo that sat in a plain frame on the corner of her bedside table. The corners were weathered from frequent touches, but the figures in the painting were just as full of life now as they had been when she first set eyes on them. She remembered the hopeful look on Keefe’s face when he had handed her the two pictures, the other of which was safe back at Havenfield. The one she looked at now showed all her friends lined up next to the Panakes. Everyone looked so happy and relaxed, and it made Sophie’s heart ache with emotion.
After the defeat of the Neverseen, everyone had slowly drifted apart, finishing school and making their own ways in the world, until their group meet ups had become less and less frequent. It had been several months since she had seen any of her friends besides Keefe, and she knew it would be many more before she would she them again. The only exception to this was Ro, who stopped by often, if only to talk with Keefe about Elvin-Ogre relations. Even though Keefe’s job in this department affected Ro greatly as the new ogre queen, Sophie had a slight suspicion that this reason may have been an excuse to see her and Keefe.
Sophie was still deep in thought when a young elf burst into the room saying, “I can’t believe you named me after Mr. Forkle! That’s so embarassing!” Though he was only in his first level at Foxfire, Ro already tried to act as if he was so much cooler than his parents.
“Errol, I though you already knew. Don’t you like being named after such a powerful elf?” Sophie tried to calm him down, but it only made things worse.
“I’m name-buddies with a guy who eats ruckleberries to turn himself into an old wrinkly dude, and you think I’m gonna be okay with that?” Sophie was about to reply when Keefe walked into the room, a small satchel slung across his shoulder.
“You don’t mind being nickname-buddies with Ro,” Keefe butted in, batting his eyelashes in mock sympathy.
“Ro is a super cool ogre warrior queen! Mr. Forkle is my telepathy mentor!” Errol practically growled.
“If you want, I can ask Mr. Forkle to call you by your nickname,” Keefe offered.
“Thanks Dad, it would nice for him to call me Ro like everyone else,” Errol said, calmer now.
“Oh I don't mean that nickname,” Keefe replied with a slightly evil grin.
“Dad. No. You wouldn't.”
“Oh, I would,” Keefe answered, “Isn't that right, Ro...”
“Don't say it. Please Dad,” Errol said back, looking genuinely frightened.
“Now Errol, you shouldn't interrupt your father when he’s talking,” Keefe told him. “Now, as I was saying, isn't that right Roly Poly?” Errol visibly shuddered before he rushed over to his dad, pounding against his arms in a way that was more cute than effective. “Hey, calm down! I wouldn’t actually do that.”
“Hmph.” Errol refused to acknowledge the apology, muttering something about homework and annoying parents as he stalked out of the room.
“So, how was your day?” Sophie asked, walking up and giving Keefe a quick hug.
“Fine, fine, the usual. Ro wants additional amendments added to the treaty, and the Council keeps denying her requests. Something about how banning any sparkles from entering Ravagog was too much to ask from them, but I don’t really get it,” he finished up, “How about you?”
“Mine was okay. Mostly lots of paperwork. The humans have so many disasters happening all at once, it’s almost impossible deciding between cases. Even with all our recruits, the new Human Assistance Program has its hands full.” Sophie wanted to say more, but she stopped, distracted by her earlier thoughts.
“Is that it? You seem down.” Keefe wrapped an arm around her shoulder, and Sophie leaned in, enjoying his presence.
“I was just thinking. When was the last time we saw our friends? I mean, really saw them, not just when we went to pick up school supplies from Slurps and Burps and ran into Dex.”
“I… I don’t know.” He had started to answer, but then stopped, having to think far too hard to come up with an answer. “It’s been too long, hasn’t it?”
She agreed. It had been a very busy year, but even before that it had been some time since she and her friends had spent quality time together. “And it’s not just that. Our anniversary’s coming up soon, and we don’t even have anything planned.”
“Don’t worry about the whole anniversary thing, I’ll figure something out. Trust me, Foster, I’ve got it under control,” he reassured her.
“Y’know, you calling me Foster doesn’t make so much sense now that we share a last name,” Sophie remarked.
“You couldn't stop me when we were younger, you won't stop me now!”
“Well you hadn't taken my last name when we were younger,” Sophie shot back.
“Are you sure about that? Because I seem to remember some Team Foster-Keefe, and don't try to tell me that that wasn't what I meant,” Keefe said with a smirk, “Besides, you love it.”
“Well, you got me there,” she admitted with a soft smile. Keefe hugged her shoulders one last time before moving away and beginning to exit the room.
“Leave the anniversary to me, Foster,” he paused halfway through the door, “I’ve got it all figured out.” But contrary to his words, Sophie could've sworn she saw a glint of fear in his eyes as he left.
Keefe mentally groaned as he began to realized what he had gotten himself into. He had been so good at giving gifts when he was younger, but for some reason he felt completely lost this time. Back when he had thought there was no hope of them being anything more than friends, coming up with the perfect present had felt easy. Now that they were actually together, his talents had seemed to have slipped away.
“I guess I’ll just have to figure out something,” he decided, making up his mind just as his foot caught on the edge of a bench that looked deceivingly small. It had been Elwin’s gift at their wedding, made from the Healing Center cot Sophie had spent so much time in, so they had to keep it, no matter how often Keefe tripped over it. He landed on the floor with a thud, skidding several feet and nearly banging his head on the wall.
Sophie called from their room, having heard the commotion, “Keefe? Everything alright?”
“Everything’s fine! Just Fostered it.”
“Oh, okay.” She paused, then started again as his words sunk in. “Wait. Are you serious? Do I need to call Elwin?” Sophie ran out of the bedroom, only to find Keefe sprawled out on the floor. He quickly got up, shooting her a sheepish grin.
“Nah, I’m just joking. I tripped. Again. I think your clumsiness has totally transferred to me after all these years.”
“Guys, guys, guys,” Errol stepped out of his room and into the hallway, addressing both of his parents, “Don’t worry. You can both be clumsy, okay?”
Sophie and Keefe both mumbled something about manners and kids these days, but Errol ignored them, stepping away and closing the door behind him.
“Was I really that annoying when I was younger?”
“Oh, no. You were worse.”
“Hey! I heard that!” Errol shouted from his room, but his parents only laughed and walked away.
“Well, I better get to the planning, see ya Foster,” he said with a wink as he blew an air- kiss over his shoulder with an extra flourish. He batted his eyes as he walked off, hoping Sophie didn't notice his slight limp from running into the bench.
Two hours and several pads of paper later, and Keefe was still as lost as he had been when he promised Sophie he would plan the anniversary. He briefly entertained the idea of asking someone for help, but the only person he could think of was Ro, who would only laugh at him when he admitted he needed help. No, he would have to do this on his own.
“Why on Earth can I not come up with anything?” he grumbled, wishing once again for his old gift giving skills. What about those presents made them so special? Sophie had seemed to love all of them, especially the two paintings he had done. Even today he had seen her looking at them. She hadn’t seemed too happy though. Everything she said about missing friends had made Keefe feel sad too. Maybe that was why he couldn’t come up with anything. Maybe…
“Wait a second. That could actually work,” he said aloud, moving a stack of work documents to the side to make room for a new notebook. He began writing furiously, ignoring the sound of the papers he had pushed aside colliding with the floor. Several moments later, he had the beginning of a plan.